Facilitating Technology Use by Older Immigrants: A Scoping Review and Reflection on Fieldwork Experience

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: Facilitating Technology Use by Older Immigrants: A Scoping Review and Reflection on Fieldwork Experience
Stream: Transport, Mobility and Accessibility
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation
Japleen Thind, McMaster University, Canada
Sepali Guruge, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada
Ernest Leung, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada


Background: While technology usage has proven to be beneficial for older adults in general, many older immigrants remain excluded from the digital realm. Recent studies have examined technology usage among older adults, some of which focused on older immigrants.

Objective: The objective of this poster is to present the major barriers to and facilitators of older immigrants’ technology use.

Method: Using Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage framework, we conducted a scoping review of peer-reviewed and primary-studies based literature, published in English between 1990 and 2022, that focused on older immigrants and refugees’ use of technology.

Results: A comprehensive database search yielded 222 articles, of which 13 met the study criteria. The results suggest that older immigrants’ experience many challenges to access and use of technology, some of which is shaped by age, gender, language, education, income, psychological barriers, family support, and cultural norms. These factors form a complex web of contingencies that influences technology access and use.

Conclusion: Access to the tools of digital communication is an equity issue, with older migrants requiring access to and use of technology to maintain their health and well-being, and social networks and support. Digital inclusion of older immigrants can be facilitated by establishing more culturally-appropriate technology training and use technological applications that accommodate the physical, social, and psychological needs of older immigrants.

Virtual Presentation

Virtual Poster Presentation

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